The port of Klaipeda, 175 mi/280 km northwest of Vilnius and today a fishing and manufacturing center, is Lithuania's oldest city (it dates from the seventh century). Although much of its original architecture has been destroyed through the years, the city has a distinctly Germanic look from its 700 years of Prussian rule, when it was called Memel. In 1806, Memel even had a brief spell as the capital of Prussia.
Sights include the Picture Gallery's sculpture collection (we like the statues in the adjacent park best), the History Museum of Lithuania Minor, and the Protestant Church of St. George (on Market Square). Shoppers should visit Mantas Street, where the city's most fashionable boutiques are located. Also do not miss a meal on board the historic three-master Meridianas, which is moored at the Dankai close to the bridge leading to the city center. http://www.klaipeda.lt.
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